Hackathons follow the rumor that they promote toxic values - competition for the sake of competition, forcing participants to throw out a finished product in just 48 hours, an unhealthy lifestyle - but is everything really like that, or is it just one way of looking at it?
Why do companies organize hackathons - if the goal is not competition?
1. Development of innovative ideas
2. Faster MVP creation
3. Promotion of software products
4. Recruitment - finding new talent
5. Employer branding
What does that mean for you and your team?
This means that you don't have to see hackathons as just a competition where you burn yourself out to prove yourself. Hackathons are much more than just a competition.
It sounds corny, but - everyone who participates in hackathons is a winner. Why?
Because you have the opportunity to learn a lot and gain experience that will prepare you for some future endeavors.
What do you get by participating in a hackathon - other than a prize?
Everyone comes to hackathons hoping to win, but that shouldn't be the only goal. Go with the goal of winning, but don't forget to enjoy the process.
1. An opportunity to meet new people from the field that interests you
Hackathons often gather people who have the same interests, but also the same level of enthusiasm to actually apply their knowledge and interest - which is sometimes difficult to find in their immediate environment.
Therefore, hackathons are an excellent opportunity for networking and exchanging knowledge and experiences.
It often happens that teams who want to solve the same problem and have complementary skills meet at hackathons, which later results in cooperation in the form of startups or partnerships.
So, maybe you will meet some of your future colleagues at the hackathon.
2. An opportunity to meet people from the IT world
Hackathons are often either organized by IT companies themselves or sponsored by them - which is a great opportunity to make contacts for some future business opportunities.
At hackathons, it is much easier to see the strengths and weaknesses of the participants. Why?
Coping with unpredictable situations - no matter how organized you are, at work you will often encounter situations that you could not have foreseen. At hackathons, you will certainly have unpredictable situations, where scouts can immediately see how you handle them.
Approach to solving problems and creativity - as important as it is to come up with a quick solution and think creatively at a hackathon, it is just as important to have these skills in your everyday work.
Work in a team - at hackathons, you can clearly see which participant has which role in the team: who is there to push the others when enthusiasm drops, who is there to organize a new process when the previous one fails, and who is there to look at the problem from a different perspective. Scouts can see very clearly who behaves how in the team, which is often more difficult through the interview process.
3. An opportunity to test your solutions
Of course, there are different types of hackathons, but they have one thing in common - quickly coming up with solutions and testing them in the "real world".
At hackathons, you can test your ideas and knowledge in practice in a healthy environment, especially if you are just entering the world of programming - regardless of whether you are a student or self-taught.
Hackathons are especially useful for beginners who often struggle with imposter syndrome. As imposter syndrome is followed by doubts about one's abilities and difficulties with assessing one's abilities - at the hackathon, beginners have the opportunity to find out what level of knowledge they are at, how they rank in relation to others in their industry, and get a realistic picture of their skills. And that, you will agree, is important for further development and progress in your career.
4. An opportunity to really get to know your team
You certainly have a great team with you who are both capable and smart and it's still nice to work together. If you haven't worked on concrete projects before, hackathons are a great opportunity to try working under pressure.
This is where you'll see how you really work as a team - who's the crazy enthusiast on the team, and who's standing firmly with both feet on the ground (hint: you need both people on the team).
You will find out who is better at presenting, and who is better at writing code and coming up with new solutions.
In the end, you will see how you manage, how you communicate, and how many quality ideas you have - and that is sometimes more important than your technical knowledge.
5. An opportunity to really get to know yourself
Last but not least - you will have the opportunity to get to know yourself and your limitations.
We are often ourselves, along with our beliefs, our biggest obstacle.
Hackathons are a great opportunity to get to know where and how you limit yourself and to see that you are actually good at doing some things that you always thought you were not good at (e.g. presenting).
With each new situation you encounter at the hackathon, you will have the opportunity to either test your knowledge in practice or learn something new - whether it's a new skill or knowledge about yourself (for example, maybe you only work well under pressure when it comes to exam deadlines, but even if it is so - that's okay).
This all sounds good to you and now you want to see what a hackathon actually looks like?
Perfect! The barKod team is organizing a hackathon on Saturday, November 27 2021. at the Faculty of Science and Mathematics in Novi Sad at the Department of Mathematics and Informatics.
The theme of the hackathon is the web, and a full-stack application will be developed where the participants will use technologies of their choice. Registration is closed, but that doesn't mean you can't participate because this hackathon is a little different from the others, and here's why:
- It is tailored for beginners, as the idea is to get the contestants closer to their first job
2. It is completely open - even if you are not a participant, you can come to see what the task looks like, and what the atmosphere is like and possibly break your preconceptions about events of this type (if you have any).
3. An interactive CV writing workshop will be organized for beginners in the dev world, in which you can participate even without prior registration
4. There will be a panel discussion on the hiring process in IT
You can follow all the notifications (and useful tips) on their Instagram profile, and you can get in touch with the team organizing this event through the discord server.
You don't know if you want to participate now, but you are interested in the topic?
Here you can view all hackathons in Serbia, those that have already been organized, and those that are still waiting for you.
Follow the events and register - who knows, maybe you and your team will be one of the startups that were created after participating in the hackathon. And if nothing else, at least (you will practice) the code.